Friday, January 12, 2018

Letter: End of Beaver Mines wastewater gong show

Cornell Van Ryk - There were a lot of things lining up to kill it but Mother Earth stepped in and killed the Mill Creek lagoon option for the Beaver Mines wastewater. Test digs revealed that the bedrock was too close to surface to facilitate a lagoon installation at this site. This is more the result of good luck than good management, but we’ll take it.

I’m certain this option would never have seen the light of day if it had been properly compared to alternatives. The M.D. now has to find a new home for the Beaver Mines wastewater.

Council (for the most part) seems to have learned a few things from the Mill Creek debacle and are moving forward in a much more organized fashion. They are now asking for a detailed review of ALL potential options conducted by an experienced Project Manager independent from the construction engineers.

I now feel the project is set up for success. If they get the right project manager who provides Council with the all the information they require to make sound decisions, I’m certain they will end up with the best solution.

It’s not all roses and sunshine. Councillor Yagos has not learned much and now wants to just plow ahead, try to get the Town of Pincher Creek onboard and get a pipeline built to the Pincher Creek Sewage lagoons. This option has some appeal in that it sets the M.D. up to eventually supply services to the airport and to Pincher Station, but there may be significant problems and costs. Fortunately, his is not the majority opinion, and Council has decided to review all alternatives before coming to a decision.

This is a major decision both in terms of the amount of money being spent and potential negative impacts. The capital costs, operating costs, risks, negative impacts, etc. of all reasonable options need to be studied and compared in detail to land on the right one. This is the path that Council has decided to follow and they should be commended for it, in my opinion.

I plan to continue monitoring this project for some time. I sincerely hope the Gong-show is over.

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